Monday, 14 December 2015

A Solitary Neighbour and a Literary Masterpiece

"Cathy Come Home"

" 1801. - I have just returned from a visit to my landlord - the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with."                                                                                                                        With these few innocuous words the reader is invited into the pages of the most famous Gothic novel ever written - "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte. The speaker is Lockwood and his neighbour......why none other than Heathcliff himself. The novel records the ill fated relationship between Heathcliff and his beloved Cathy and its effect on so many lives. This masterpiece of brooding drama, unrequited passion, complex characters and heartless revenge was written by a clergyman's daughter no less which is just one of the many surprising things about this famous story.
My painting had a few surprises for me too. It sort of took on a life of its own. It started life as a simple study of an abandoned farmhouse in the remote fells of the High Northern Pennines. I brought it back to life, set it in twilight, lit up the windows and there it was...Wuthering Heights. I could feel the presence of Heathcliff waiting at the window for the return of the ghost of his one true love and his plaintive cry. Will she ever "come home"? Incidentally 'wuthering' is a Yorkshire word meaning wild, exposed, storm-blown which summed up the real place perfectly.

Monday, 7 December 2015

My First Watercolour

My First watercolour
Here it is….my very first watercolour. I was pleased to find it after all this time. It looks better than I remember it I’m pleased to say. It was copied from a photograph as indeed were all my early efforts. I didn’t know what I was doing and used the watercolour paint very much as I would have used oils. There is very little water used in diluting the paint and the original has a very ‘chalky’ feel to it. The yellow added to the trees was done with no water at all, just paint straight from the tube giving the painting a textured surface. I grasped the idea of using the white of the paper for my highlights right from the word go so, all in all, not a bad first time effort. And here is my very latest painting - a sketch done for the very first time in my new studio. I hadn't painted for a while but this is the result of a happy couple of hours just messing about. I think you will notice I use a little more water now:
"Wander in the Woods"